Dave Anderson

October 27, 2010 at 7:52 pm (jazz, music, Rosie B)

(Some of the people commenting here find the idea of people reading, writing or performing poetry disturbing.  Warning to them:- this piece contains verse.)

If you’re ever in Edinburgh, do check out the Captain’s Bar.  It’s a nice little pub with a good vibe and there’s music on there every evening, and on Saturday and Sunday afternoons.   I was there the Saturday evening before last and a guy was playing the piano and singing – mostly standards like A Nightingale Sung in Berkeley Square:-

(I looked at a few versions of this e.g. Nat King Cole’s and Frank Sinatra’s but their arrangements were heavy with strings, so I chose Glenn Miller’s.  The song is so over the top romantic that it doesn’t need any of the extra lovey-dovey sound of strings.  It worked very well just with the piano and vocals.  Have songs like that been written in the last fifty years or so?)

The guy playing jazz piano and singing in an expressive voice was Dave Anderson,  who as well as being a musician is an actor, and a writer and director of musicals.  He’s the musical director for a piece called A Bottle of Wine and Patsy Kline which is playing in Glasgow in December.

So he did a fine version of Crazy:-

As well as the covers he did some of his own songs, which sadly have not been recorded.  Here are the lyrics to one of them:- [WARNING POETRY-HATERS: VERSE ALERT]


When they take your work
Treat you like a jerk
And mock your poverty
Someone taps your phone
This is what is known
As Dead Liberty

When the hoods and crooks
Get to cook the books
And rob you endlessly
And the judge is bribed
This is best described
As Dead Liberty

And when your friendly neighbourhood cop
Seems to go right over the top
And to see his brief
As not to catch a thief
But to stop you complaining
By beating your brain in
When the guys with guns
Are the lucky ones
Who get to wander free
Then the populace
Recognize a case
Of Dead Liberty

And when your daily newspaper tries
To pull the wool right over your eyes
And disseminate
Prejudice and hate
And the lies they’re expressing
And the truth they’re suppressing

When the cops protect
Those you most suspect
Of daylight robbery
Then it’s time to say
That there is no way
You can do this thing to me
We don’t need no Dead Liberty


This was written for the Wildcat Theatre production Dead Liberty about the miners’ strike.  It has a good tune as well.

Next spring Dave will be touring a one-man show, called “Shoo-be-Doo! Or How to Talk To Old People”,  As well as being an accomplished musician and song writer, he’s a terrific entertainer who has a good rapport with his audience so check him out if he comes your way.


  1. jim denham said,

    “Glenn Miller, shot down in 1945 by a music-loving Luftwaffe pilot”… from Dave Gelly’s obit for Trevor Swale in the October edition of ‘Just Jazz’ magazine.

  2. Pinkie said,

    Patsy Cline, fabulous.

    Max Dunbar, twat.

    The sublime and the ridiculous all in one place. Enough to make you realise that there is no need to visit this site, Google will find the good stuff .

  3. jim denham said,

    Pinkie: don’t then.

    • maxdunbar said,

      Weirdly, ‘Pinkie’ has the same email address as our older commenter Lobby Ludd.

      How are you, Nick?

      • Pinkie said,

        Very well, thank you for asking.

        As a sensitive soul, Max, you will understand how grubby I feel as a visitor, let alone commenter, on this site. Now it’s all out I feel strangely liberated.

        With, or without, the help of my loved ones I think I can move on.

  4. shug said,

    AH! dont mind the haggis,must be my celtic soul.

  5. Bruce said,

    Well-known comment on the proliferation of Glenn Miller ghost bands: “It would have been better if he had lived and his music had died’.

    Was he shot down by the Luftwaffe? I vaguely remember seeing a programme which suggested it was more likely to have been an accident caused by the Allies.

  6. Max Dunbar said,

    Also a good Red Dwarf line: ‘Christ, it’s aliens. They’ve probably come to return Glenn Millar. We don’t want him! Go away’

  7. jim denham said,

    In fairness: Miller’s one significant jazz solo as a trombonist. On the Mound City Blue Blowers’ 1929 record of “Hello Lola” he took a decent chorus…following Coleman Hawkins!

  8. Dave Anderson said,

    Bobby Darin’s “A Nightingale sang in Berkeley Square” is as cool as you would imagine it to be.

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